I am copying this from a comment that I made on Martina Bex’s blog: The Comprehensible Classroom
This is my brief history with TPRS and the transition to the textbook.
Hello! I am a former TPRS teacher and now a Realidades teacher (desafortunadamente- and I only say this because of the lack of results I am having with Realidades). I am working on bringing back TPRS into my curriculum. I am not the only Spanish teacher in my district (there are approximately 6 of us) and our district has adopted Realidades as our curriculum. We also have to give common assessments (final exams) that are the same across the district. These common assessments are currently 200 question scantron-type exams with about 50% vocabulary matching, 30% vocabulary and grammar use with multiple choice questions, and 20% reading and listening comprehension. This is my big hesitation/ roadblock because I know that my students are all required to take this exam and my evaluation is tied to their scores. I feel that they could be very successful with the vocabulary portion because it is very easy for most students. The multiple choice questions are more difficult. I think what Martina said about picking the most important, high-frequency vocabulary words and structures from each chapter is the key and then giving the kids the rest of the vocabulary to “memorize.” To be honest, the current method for teaching vocabulary in our department is to give the students the list on day one of the new chapter, translate the list to English, talk about the vocabulary words and structures, then start quizzing (translate from English to Spanish then Spanish to English). The words are drilled everyday orally and through rote practice like crossword puzzles, textbook activities, etc. The kids who “do school well” have them down in 2 days while the others never quite get there, which means KWDSW are bored for about 2 weeks and the rest dread the vocabulary quizzes. Ugh! Not a pretty situation for anyone involved. I would appreciate ANY and ALL ideas you folks have!
Also, just to be clear- I am not trying to minimize or discredit the curriculum and the hard work of my colleagues. I am just looking for ways to improve upon our curriculum. I think this is an essential part of education- reflecting and looking for ways to improve what you are doing with the goal of student success!
Martina- your site is absolutely fantastic and it is so awesome to have a virtual PLC thanks to modern technology.